Azithromycin, a Potential Treatment for COVID-19 Might Augment Risk of Cardiac Events, Study Suggests

Jan, 2021 - By WMR

Azithromycin, a Potential Treatment for COVID-19 Might Augment Risk of Cardiac Events, Study Suggests

According to a new research study initiated by the researchers of University of Illinois at Chicago have revealed some important facts about the drug azithromycin. Researchers revealed that azithromycin, a highly prescribed antibiotic drug and a potential therapeutic for COVID-19 drug when consumed with certain other drugs negatively impacts the electrical functioning of the heart, thereby the augmenting the risk of cardiac events.

Haridarshan Patel, corresponding author, stated, “Our findings should give researchers and clinicians looking at azithromycin as a potential treatment for COVID-19 pause. We found that if taken together with drugs that affect the electrical impulses of the heart, the combination is linked with a 40% increase in cardiac events, including fainting, heart palpitations and even cardiac arrest.”

Researchers suggested that QT-prolonging drugs are the drugs that distress the electrical impulses of the heart, especially the interval in the electrical rhythm called the QT interval. QT-prolonging drugs include blood pressure medications some antidepressants and ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers, anti-malaria drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, opioid medications along with muscle relaxers. Furthermore they informed that it is vital for doctors to be assured that patients should not have any exposure to QT-prolonging drug, while they are prescribed for azithromycin.

In this study, researchers utilized a large database comprising medical records of over 4 million U.S.-based patients with an average age of 36. Moreover, the risk of cardiac events was compared against amoxicillin antibiotic drug that no link with cardiac events or any impact on QT-interval. These patients visited an emergency department due to cardiac event and took azithromycin or amoxicillin within few days of their visit to hospital.

Researchers observed that the probability of cardiac events with azithromycin compared with amoxicillin were quite low or rare in both groups, however, the risk of cardiac events was 40% higher compared with the amoxicillin group among patients who received azithromycin and QT-prolonging medication together.

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